Wednesday, April 11, 2018

[Ichthyology • 2018] Romanogobio skywalkeri • A New Gudgeon (Teleostei: Gobionidae) from the upper Mur River, Austria

Romanogobio skywalkeri 
Friedrich, Wiesner, Zangl, Daill, Freyhof & Koblmüller, 2018


Romanogobio skywalkeri, new species, is described from the upper Mur River in the Austrian Danube drainage. It is related to R. banarescui from the Mediterranean basin. Romanogobio skywalkeri is distinguished from R. banarescui by lacking epithelial crests on the predorsal back, having 12–14 total pectoral-fin rays (vs. 10–11) and usually 8½ branched dorsal-fin rays (vs. 7½). It is distinguished from other Romanogobio species in the Danube drainage by having a very slender body; a moderately long barbel, extending slightly beyond the posterior eye margin; and no epithelial crests on the predorsal back. Romanogobio skywalkeri is distinguished by a minimum net divergence of 6.3% (uncorrected p-distance against R. banarescui) in the COI barcoding region from other European Romanogobio species. A key to the Romanogobio species of the Danube drainage is provided. Romanogobio banarescui from the Vardar drainage and R. carpathorossicus from the Danube drainage are treated as valid species.

Keywords: Pisces, Freshwater fish, taxonomy, Cytochrome oxidase I, Europe, hydropower

Smaragdgressling Romanogobio skywalkeri  

 photos: Wolfgang Gessl, 

FIGURE 3. Romanogobio skywalkeri, from the top, not preserved, 91 mm SL, 96 mm SL; Austria: River Mur at Oberaich.

Romanogobio skywalkeri, new species

Etymology. Named for Luke Skywalker, the hero of the movie “Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope” (Lucasfilms, Twentieth Century Fox, 1977). As common name emerald gudgeon fits the line with common names of other Romanogobio species and reflects the green hue of the fish when observed in his natural habitat or freshly caught.

Smaragdgressling Romanogobio skywalkeri
photos: Wolfgang Gessl,


Thomas Friedrich, Christian Wiesner, Lukas Zangl, Daniel Daill, Jörg Freyhof and Stephan Koblmüller. 2018. Romanogobio skywalkeri, A New Gudgeon (Teleostei: Gobionidae) from the upper Mur River, Austria.  Zootaxa. 4403(2); 336–350. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4403.2.6 


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